IT and librarianship

I work in IT in UK Higher Education having previously worked in librarianship for many years. I am an experienced solutions architect and a full-stack LAMP developer (Linux, Apache/Nginx, MySQL/MariaDB, and Python/PHP) with working knowledge of Python, PHP, JavaScript, HTML and CSS with some experience of Perl, Java, and C#. I have a ITIL Foundation certification in IT Service Management, an Intermediate & Practitioner Certification in Enterprise & Solution Architecture, and have experience as a PRINCE2 Registered Practitioner.

I am an editor for the Journal of Radical Librarianship, an open access journal publishing high quality, rigorously reviewed and innovative scholarly work in the field of radical and critical librarianship. I am also the server administrator for the journal’s Open Journal Systems site.

For many years, I campaigned on behalf of UK public libraries including as part of the advocacy group, Voices for the Library. The group promoted the value of the UK’s public libraries, presented the stories and views of library users and librarians, and protested the extensive public library closures planned by local councils in the UK.

Full details of my IT and librarianship work are available on my LinkedIn profile.


I have expertise in designing search and discovery interfaces for libraries and cultural institutions, designing systems integrations linking library systems to a range of other IT systems, working with bibliographic or archival metadata, software development against library system APIs, and enhancing data security in libraries.

My library systems and security consultancy, changes, is available at with my full portfolio and certifications available to view there. If you would like to hire me for a consultation, please get in touch.

My open-source code is available at:




My writing on librarianship and digital culture covers a range of librarianship issues. I specialise in critical approaches to systems librarianship and library practice with a particular focus on advocating use of open-source systems in education. Note that much of this writing is published under my former name, Simon Barron.

My blogging on librarianship is available at

book chapters

Barron, S., & Preater, A., 2018, ‘Critical systems librarianship’, in K. P. Nicholson & M. Seale (eds.), The politics of theory and the practice of critical librarianship, Library Juice Press: Sacramento, CA, 2018, pp. 87–113. <>

Larose, K., & Barron, S., 2017, ‘How white is your UX practice?: inclusion and diversity in critical UX research’, in A. Priestner (eds.), User experience in libraries: yearbook 2017, UX in Libraries: Cambridge, 2017, pp. 23–33. <>

Schneider, L., & Barron, S., 2015, ‘The hybrid librarian/systems specialist’, in K. Schopflin (eds.), A handbook for corporate information professionals, Facet Publishing: London, 2015, pp. 45–56.

research reports

Adema, J. et al., 2022, Books Contain Multitudes: Exploring Experimental Publishing (2022 update) <>


Sanders, K., & Bowie, S., 2020, ‘Open or Ajar? Openness within the Neoliberal Academy’, Preprints <>

Barron, S., Clark, I., McDonald, S., Jones, R., & Smith, L., 2017, ‘Radical Librarians Collective Gathering 2016, Brighton’, Journal of radical librarianship, vol. 3, pp. 4–13 <>

Barron, S., 2015, ‘Implementing Kuali OLE at SOAS Library’, Ariadne, no. 74 <>

Barron, S., 2015, ‘A radical publishing collective: the Journal of Radical Librarianship’, In the library with the lead pipe <>

Barron, S., 2013, ‘Rise of the cyborgs: the growth of librarian-IT hybrids’ in Cilip Umbrella Conference 2013 Conference Proceedings, Cilip: London, 2013 <>

Barron, S., 2013, ‘Social cataloguing: a discussion on LibraryThing and Goodreads’, Catalogue & Index, no. 171, June 2013, pp. 36–40 <,_June_2013.pdf>

‘Five go to Chicago’ in CILIP Update, 2012-11.

Barron, S., 2011, ‘Lost in Paradise: the Total Library as mirror of reality’, Panlibus Magazine, no. 22.

Barron, S., 2011, ‘The Man Who Described the Universe’, The British Wittgenstein Society.

Barron, S., 2011, ‘Google can’t be trusted with our books’, The Guardian’s Comment is Free, 26th April 2011 <>

Barron, S. 2011, ‘Why we need a UK National Digital Library’, CILIP Update, March 2011, pp. 34–35.

Barron, S., 2011, ‘A social-networking success story’, ORG Zine, 9th February 2011 <>

Barron, S., 2010, ‘Borrowing ebooks beyond a library’s walls’, The Guardian’s Comment is Free, 7th November 2010 <>


I speak regularly at conferences and academic events about critical librarianship and open-licensing in education. My speaking on digital privacy and encryption in librarianship has helped inform the practice of several library services and the Carnegie UK Trust. If you’d like to request a speaking engagement, please get in touch.


Bowie, S., 2022, ‘Free and open-source software as (non-)liberatory technology’, paper presented at Centre for Postdigital Cultures 2022 Annual Conference organised by the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University, 16–17 June 2022.

Larose, K., & Bowie, S., 2019, ‘inclusion and diversity in critical UX research’, keynote and workshop presented to CLAUD Summer Study Day, Bath, UK, 8 July 2019, <>.

Bowie, S., & Sanders, K., 2019, ‘Open or ajar?: ‘openness’ within the neoliberal academy’, paper presented to Open Repositories 2019, Hamburg, Germany, 10–13 June 2019, <>

Bowie, S., 2018, ‘systems of revolt: open systems for open knowledge’, paper presented at Open Access Week at Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK, 23 October 2018.

Barron, S., 2018, ‘systems of revolt: open systems for open knowledge’, paper presented to UKSG 41st Annual Conference and Exhibition, Glasgow, UK, 9–11 April 2018, <>

Mendias, C., & Barron, S., 2018, ‘New directions for discovery services’, paper presented to OCLC EMEA Regional Council Meeting 2018, Edinburgh, UK, 20–21 February 2018.

Barron, S., 2017, ‘cosmic autumn rebellion: digital privacy and libraries’, presentation delivered to NLPN Info 2017, Manchester, UK, 18 November 2017.

Larose, K., & Barron, S., 2017, ‘How white is your UX practice?: inclusion and diversity in critical UX research’, paper presented to UXLibsIII, Glasgow, UK, 6–7 June 2017, <>.

Barron, S., 2017, ‘opening the black box: ethical issues in systems librarianship’, presentation delivered to City University London LIS students, 2017-02-06.

Barron, S., 2016, ‘rebel, rebel…: an outsider’s approach to management’, presentation delivered to UCL Department of Information Studies, 2016-01-19. <>

Barron, S., 2015, ‘Using Free and Open Source Software to open data’, paper presented to Internet Librarian International 2015, London, UK, 19th–21st October 2015 <>

UX in libraries: designing library systems for library users‘ presented to UCL Department of Information Studies students on 2015-03-09 and to City University London LIS students on 2015-03-16.

Digital librarianship: the life of a systems librarian‘ presented at the BIALL/SLA Europe/CLSIG Graduate Open Day on 2014-04-10.

‘An introduction to digital librarianship’ presented at University of East London training event on 2013-09-13 and at a Manchester New Library Professionals Network event on 2013-10-19.

Rise of the cyborgs: the growth of librarian-IT hybrids‘ presented at CILIP’s Umbrella Conference 2013 on 2013-07-02.

Digital librarianship‘ presented at the BIALL/CLSIG/SLA Europe Open Day on 2013-04-18.

(With Anneli Sarkanen) ‘60 apps and sites in 60 minutes‘ presented for SLA Europe on 2013-03-19.

The fundamental interconnectedness of all things: the impact of networked knowledge systems on cataloguing‘ presented at the CILIP Cataloguing and Indexing Group Conference 2012 on 2012-09-10.

E-resources for Dummies‘ presented at the first event of the Manchester New Library Professionals Network on 2012-06-30.

(With Ian Anstice) ‘Making our voices heard‘ workshop on communication and the media delivered at the CILIP in Wales Conference on 2012-05-18.

(With Abby Barker) ‘Have you tried logging out and then in again?‘ workshop on e-resource work in libraries delivered at the CILIP New Professionals Day on 2012-05-11.

Voices for the Library and the campaign for public libraries‘ presented to MMU librarianship postgraduate students on 2011-11-23.

(With Alice Halsey) ‘Getting involved: activism for new professionals’ workshop delivered at the CILIP New Professionals Conference on 2011-06-20.

The Tragedy of the Mundaneum‘ presented at the CILIP Library and Information History Group Conference on 2011-05-25.